\ ˈkəp How to pronounce cup (audio) \

Definition of cup

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an open usually bowl-shaped drinking vessel
2a : a drinking vessel and its contents
b : the consecrated wine of the Communion
3 : something that falls to one's lot
4 : an ornamental cup offered as a prize (as in a championship)
5 : something resembling a cup: such as
a : a cup-shaped plant organ
b : an athletic supporter reinforced usually with plastic to provide extra protection to the wearer
c : either of two parts of a brassiere that are shaped like and fit over the breasts
d : the metal case inside a hole in golf also : the hole itself
6 : a usually iced beverage resembling punch but served from a pitcher rather than a bowl
7 : a half pint : eight fluid ounces
8 : a food served in a cup-shaped usually footed vessel a fruit cup
9 : the symbol ∪ indicating the union of two sets — compare cap sense 7
in one's cups


cupped; cupping

Definition of cup (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to treat by cupping
2a : to curve into the shape of a cup cupped his hands around his mouth
b : to place in or as if in a cup

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Other Words from cup


cuplike \ ˈkəp-​ˌlīk How to pronounce cuplike (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for cup

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of cup in a Sentence

Noun Would you like another cup of tea? The winner will take home the cup. Verb He cupped his hands around his mouth and shouted at us. I had to cup my hand to my ear in order to hear him. He cupped his mouth with his hands and shouted at us. I sat with my chin cupped in my hand.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun As soon as summer hits, your morning cup of piping hot coffee suddenly sounds less appealing. Christie Calucchia, Better Homes & Gardens, "The 10 Best Cold Brew Coffee Makers to Keep You Cool and Caffeinated," 26 May 2020 Other folks would come, have their little cup of gumbo and their piece of fried chicken, and go home. Jessica B. Harris, Southern Living, "Remembering Leah Chase, the Queen of Creole Cuisine," 21 May 2020 Got my large cup of coffee, and while the house is quiet, continue reading Prince and the Purple Rain Era Studio Sessions: 1983 and 1984. Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Glamour, "How a Middle School Teacher in Rural California Is Making It Work in Quarantine," 20 May 2020 Hyatt Hill Country added pool noodles to its cups, Claxton said, to allow for ball retrieval with minimal contact. Greg Luca,, "Golf courses renting carts, opening clubhouses as restrictions loosen," 1 May 2020 Co-author Niny Rao tasted her first cup of cold-brew coffee a few years ago while attending an ACS conference in San Diego. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "The chemistry of cold-brew coffee is so hot right now," 9 Apr. 2020 So despite the doom and gloom, our cup of stimulation is half full. Ed Silverman, STAT, "Pharmalittle: India to allow limited exports of malaria drug; some Trump allies profit if hydroxychloroquine is approved," 7 Apr. 2020 The moves come a week after Starbucks cited the outbreak in saying customers could no longer bring their own cups into its stores. Kate Gibson, CBS News, "Starbucks closes some stores and removes chairs due to coronavirus," 16 Mar. 2020 Starbucks Starbucks announced Wednesday that customers would no longer be able to bring in their own cups to get coffee. Dallas News, "Here’s how Dallas Zoo, Starbucks, H-E-B, Costco are making changes because of coronavirus," 6 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Great pizzerias must nail the classics and this one came loaded with a mountain of delectable slices on top of the pie, that true to its name, cupped those spicy meat juices. Chuck Blount,, "52 Weeks of Pizza: Dough Pizzeria Napoletana restaurant delivers pepperoni pie worth a drive," 15 May 2020 The attention to detail here is remarkable, from the aforementioned orange stitching to the subtle carbon-fiber trim around the instrument display to the graceful dash lines that seamlessly cups the tablet screen. cleveland, "Affordable Nissan Sentra makes your pulse accelerate, until you hit the gas pedal (review)," 9 May 2020 Cook's note: To make Maple-Orange Glaze, in a small saucepan combine ¾ cup maple syrup, ½ cup orange marmalade, 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "Everything you need to know about buying, preparing, baking Easter ham," 8 Apr. 2020 First, if the step is cupped and is curving upward, back out its screws, remove it and place it so the cup faces down. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "10 Easy Projects for When You’re Stuck at Home," 28 Apr. 2020 In one of his most popular TikToks, Cody Hanish cups the skull of a patient lying face-up on an adjustment table. Mirel Zaman,, "These Addictive Back Crack TikToks Are The New Dr. Pimple Popper Videos," 6 Apr. 2020 Heirloom varieties, as well as cupped, pompom, and very full types will carry the day (see David Austin Roses). Heather Arndt Anderson, Sunset Magazine, "Roses Are Dead, Violets Are Too: Here’s a Better Way to Bouquet," 12 Feb. 2020 Whisk in ¼ cup all-purpose flour until there are no lumps, and cook 1 minute more. Eleanore Park, WSJ, "Recipes From the Golden Age of the Luncheon," 12 Sep. 2018 For the filling 1 ½ cups sugar 1 tablespoon lemon zest ¼ cup all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons cornmeal ½ teaspoon salt 3 large eggs Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Kathryn Gregory, The Courier-Journal, "Hungry? Try these dessert recipes from three 'temporarily closed' Louisville restaurants," 8 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cup.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cup


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cup


Middle English cuppe, from Old English, from Late Latin cuppa cup, alteration of Latin cupa tub — more at hive

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Time Traveler for cup

Time Traveler

The first known use of cup was before the 12th century

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Statistics for cup

Last Updated

5 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cup.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for cup


How to pronounce cup (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cup

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a small round container that often has a handle and that is used for drinking liquids (such as tea and coffee)
: the liquid that is contained in a cup
US : a unit of measurement that is used when you are cooking



English Language Learners Definition of cup (Entry 2 of 2)

: to curve (your hand) into the shape of a cup
: to put your hand in a curved shape around (something)


\ ˈkəp How to pronounce cup (audio) \

Kids Definition of cup

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a container to drink out of in the shape of a small bowl usually with a handle
2 : the contents of a small drinking container : cupful I drank a cup of tea.
3 : a unit of measure that equals half a pint or eight fluid ounces
4 : a trophy in the shape of a cup with two handles
5 : something like a small bowl in shape or use I picked her up in the cup of my hands …— Jean Craighead George, My Side of the Mountain


cupped; cupping

Kids Definition of cup (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to curve the hand or hands into the shape of a small bowl
2 : to put the hands in a curved shape around She cupped my face.


\ ˈkəp How to pronounce cup (audio) \

Medical Definition of cup

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a usually open bowl-shaped drinking vessel often having a handle and a stem and base and sometimes a lid
2 : a drinking vessel and its contents : the beverage or food contained in a cup a second cup of coffee
3 : something resembling a cup invagination of the blastula to form a multilayered cellular cup : as
a(1) : an athletic supporter reinforced for providing extra protection to the wearer in certain strenuous sports (as boxing, hockey, or football)
(2) : either of the two parts of a brassiere that are shaped like and fit over the breasts
b : a small bell-shaped glass formerly used in cupping
c : a cap of metal or plastic shaped like the femoral head and used in plastic reconstruction of the hip joint


cupped; cupping

Medical Definition of cup (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to treat by cupping

intransitive verb

: to undergo or perform cupping

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More from Merriam-Webster on cup

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cup

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cup

Spanish Central: Translation of cup

Nglish: Translation of cup for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cup for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about cup

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